[ pur ]
/ pɜr /
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See synonyms for: purr / purred / purring on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)

to utter a low, continuous, murmuring sound expressive of contentment or pleasure, as a cat does.
(of things) to make a sound suggestive of the purring of a cat: The new motor of the car purred.

verb (used with object)

to express by or as if by purring.


the low, vibrating sound made by a cat by the contracting of the laryngeal muscles and the diaphragm as it breathes.
a sound resembling this.
the act of purring.



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Also Archaic, pur .

Origin of purr

First recorded in 1595–1605; imitative
purr·ing·ly, adverb
per, purr
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for purr

/ (pɜː) /


(intr) (esp of cats) to make a low vibrant sound, usually considered as expressing pleasure, etc
(tr) to express (pleasure, etc) by this sound


a purring sound
C17: of imitative origin; compare French ronronner to purr, German schnurren, Dutch snorren
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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